Scorpions want to match their younger buddies

Tournaments : : Story
Jim Ecker        
Published: Sunday, October 25, 2009

JUPITER, Fla. -- Their younger friends in the Orlando Scorpions organization won the WWBA Underclass Championship two weeks ago in Fort Myers, so these older Scorpions have some extra motivation in the WWBA World Championship here on the Atlantic side of Florida.
 
"Yeah, we kind of want to win just because they won it, just so they can stop bragging a little bit," laughed Justin Burgess, one of the seniors in the Scorpions program.
 
The Scorpions moved within three games of winning the WWBA World Championship Sunday afternoon with a 12-4 victory over the New Jersey Twins in the first round of the 16-team playoffs, earning a date in the quarterfinals Sunday night against FTB Mizuno.
 
The Scorpions have enough talented players for two teams. The juniors and seniors often play on the same team, but not this time. All the seniors are playing for the Scorpions in the World Championship, and the underclassmen played here for Team Evoshield Elite.
 
The older Scorpions made the playoffs, but Team Evoshield did not. That gives the older guys bragging rights this week.
 
"They kind of have a little competition amongst themselves, with the old and the young, as it were," noted Sal Lombardo, who is coaching the seniors this week.
 
Sunday's game got off to a ragged start, with both clubs making errors, and the New Jersey Twins took an early 4-2 lead in the top of the second. The Scorpions grabbed a 6-4 edge in the bottom of the third, then ended the game by the eight-run mercy rule with six runs in the bottom of the fifth.
 
"It was a slow start, but we just finally started hitting and playing defense," said Burgess, who went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs. "I feel pretty good about it (the victory). I want to win the whole tournament."
 
Ladson Montgomery ended the game for Orlando with a two-run double in the fifth, scoring Shane Kennedy and Dominic Attanasio with the 11th and 12th runs. The Scorpions got off to a slow start, but finished strong.
 
"We knew we could respond," said Lombardo. "And we always talk about answering theirs -- plus one -- if we can. Except for one inning, we were able to do that."
 
Some of the older Scorpions and younger Scorpions go to the same high schools in Florida and profess to be friends. But make no mistake about it: The seniors want to claim a WWBA Championship of their own.
 
"Yes, sir," said Austin Anderson, who collected three hits and two RBIs Sunday afternoon. "We're hitting the ball pretty well right now as a team and we have some good pitching left, so hopefully we can win this thing."
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